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When Did The Ba'al Shem Tov Go On Mivtzoim?
by Rabbi Gershon Avtzon
In this new series, we will present some of the accomplishments of each of the Rebbeim and show how with these actions they were bringing the Sh'china "from heaven to heaven," thus ultimately preparing the world for the "Dor HaShvii" and the final Hisgalus of Moshiach.

I was once standing on the streets of Manhattan doing Mivtzaim. It was Yud Aleph Nissan, and I was taking part of the annual "Tank Parade" in honour of the Rebbe's birthday. We were putting T'fillin on people and distributing Shabbos candles and Shmura Matza.

That day, I was approached by an elder Bobover Chassid. He was staring at the Mivtza Tank and his displeasure was obvious. I went over to him and engaged him in conversation. He started off with a statement that totally shocked me. He said, "The Lubavitcher Rebbe ruined Lubavitch"!

Obviously, his words upset me terribly, but I waited silently for him to continue. He went on to explain, "For many years I admired Lubavitch. The Tanya and Maamarim are so deep and stimulating and the Frierdike Rebbe's Sichos so rich in warmth and historical information. I was so impressed with Chabad. But this Rebbe has turned the movement into a bunch of street missionaries"!

It was then that I realized the terrible misconception that is far too prevalent. People have a perspective that is very different from that of the Rebbe. In the Rebbe's eyes, our generation is the culmination of the goal and purpose of all the previous generations. All the Sichos and Maamarim were steps in a journey to reach the Avoda - Mitzva Tanks and all - of our generation.

The Rebbe started off his leadership of this generation by quoting the following Midrash (Shir HaShirim): "Basi L'Gani": Before the Sin of the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, the

Revelation. Each major sin, as recorded in the book of B'Reishis, sent it up one level, until it had completely. Then came the seven tzaddikim (righteous ones), beginning with Avraham [Avraham, Yitzchak, down one more level, until Moshe (at the giving of the Torah and the construction of the Aron) brought G-d's Essence back down into this physical world.

The Rebbe made it clear that the same applies to our generation. We are the seventh generation of Chassidus Chabad and it is our job - like Moshe Rabbeinu - to bring down G-d's Essence (Ikar Sh'china) into this physical world.

From the above it is clear that just as Avraham, Yitzchak, and all the other tzaddikim brought down the Sh'china from a higher level to a lower level, thus enabling Moshe to finally bring it into this world, the same applies to all of our Rebbeim. They all made great efforts to bring the Sh'china "lower and lower", each one in his own style, as appropriate for the generation that he lead.

In this current series, we will present some of the accomplishments of each of the Rebbeim and show how with these actions they were bringing the Sh'china "from heaven to heaven," thus preparing the world for the "Dor HaShvii" and the final Hisgalus of Moshiach.
 

 


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